IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Emergency (22 March 2011, 15.30 UTC)


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On Tuesday, 22 March 2011, Graham Andrew, Special Adviser to the IAEA Director General on Scientific and Technical Affairs; James Lyons, Director of Division of Nuclear Installation Safety;
Gerhard Proehl, Unit Head, Assessment and Management of Environmental Releases Unit;
Denis Flory , Deputy Director, General Nuclear Safety and Security;
Elena Buglova, Acting Centre Head, Incident & Emergency Centre briefed both Member States and the media on the current status of nuclear safety in Japan.

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IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Emergency (22 March 2011, 15.30 UTC)

  1. 1. Opening Remarks – Technical Briefing (22/3/2011)1. Current SituationThere continue to be some improvements at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, butthe overall situation remains very serious. High levels of contamination have been measuredin the locality of the plant.On the Fukushima site the highest concern remains the spent fuel in the storage ponds of eachreactor unit, particularly Unit 4. Reactor Units1-3 remain of concern, in particular Unit 2.We have not received validated information for some time related to the containment integrityof Unit 1 so we are concerned that we do not know its exact status. Grey smoke was observedfrom Unit 3 which led to the evacuation of plant personnel for several hours yesterday due toelevated dose rates. In addition, white smoke or vapour was observed from Unit 2. Effortscontinue in Unit 2 to connect AC to pumps etc. Work for the recovery of off-site powersupply to Units 3 and 4 is also proceeding.Seawater is being injected into the reactor vessels of Units 1, 2 and 3. Water is being sprayedperiodically into the spent fuel pools at Units 2, 3 and 4 but no information is available forthe spent fuel pool of Unit 1. The Agency still lacks data on water levels and temperatures inthe spent fuel pools at Units 1, 3 and 4.There have been some positive developments concerning Units 5 and 6 that are in coldshutdown: off-site power is now being used in Unit 5; the pressure of the reactor pressurevessel of both units has decreased; and water is being injected in to the reactor pressurevessel, as needed.2. Radiation MonitoringIAEA monitoring of gamma dose rates and beta-gamma contamination has continued over thelast 24 hours. This has been carried out together with the Japanese authorities to facilitate thecomparison of results.The IAEA took measurements at additional locations between 35 to 68 km from theFukushima plant. The dose-rate results ranged from 0.8 to 9.1 microsieverts per hour. Thebeta-gamma contamination measurements ranged from 0.08 to 0.9 MBq per square metre.More precise interpretation of the results will be possible based on measurements to be madeof the composition of the radioactive material that has been released.In the coming days the IAEA will have two monitoring teams in Japan. One team will be inthe Fukishima area and a separate team will undertake monitoring in Tokyo and thesurrounding area.The Agency continues to receive data confirming high levels of radioactivity in food, notablyspinach, in samples taken from 37 locations in the vicinity of five cities south of theFukishima site. This indicates that in four Prefectures some food products are abovepermissible levels. High levels of both Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 have been measured bythe Japanese authorities in spinach and some other fresh vegetables, together with Iodine-131in milk. However, as reported yesterday, distribution of food from the areas affected has beenrestricted. The Japanese authorities are monitoring the situation in the rest of the country.Further monitoring data will be provided by Japan to the IAEA/FAO on an ongoing basis.
  2. 2. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has announced that contamination hasbeen found in sea water samples taken close to the outlet of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Wehave been informed by NISA about plans to monitor the marine environment.
  3. 3. Unit 1 2 3 4Power (MWe /MWth) 460/1380 784/2381 784/2381 784/2381Type of Reactor BWR-3 BWR-4 BWR-4 BWR-4 In service – auto In service – auto In service – autoStatus at time of EQ Outage shutdown shutdown shutdownCore and fuel integrity Damaged Damaged Damaged No fuel in the ReactorRPV & RCS integrity Unknown Unknown Unknown Not applicable due toContainment integrity No information Damage suspected No information outage plant status AC Power available –AC Power Substation connected Not available Not available Load check is ongoingBuilding Severe damage Slight damage Severe damage Severe damage Around half of Fuel is Around half of Fuel is Around half of Fuel isWater level of RPV uncovered (Stable) uncovered (Stable) uncovered (Stable)Pressure of RPV Stabilized Unreliable Readings Decreased Not applicable due toCV Pressure Drywell Stable Stable Decreased outage plant statusWater injection to RPV Seawater Seawater SeawaterWater injection to CV No information No information No information Periodic spraying from Periodic spraying from Periodic sprayingSpent Fuel Pool Status No spraying reported outside outside from outside3/22/2011 07:00 AM
  4. 4. Unit 5 6 Power 784/2381 1100/3293 Type of Reactor BWR-4 BWR-5 Status at the EQ occurred Outage Outage Core and Fuel Cold Shutdown Cold Shutdown Severe condition RPV & RCS integrity Intact Intact Containment int. No damage expected No damage expected Concern AC Power Switched from emergency Emergency diesel diesel to off-site power Off-site power being restored No immediate concern Building No damage reported No damage reported Water level of RPV Above fuel Above fuel Pressure of RPV Decreased Decreased Containment Pressure No information No information Water injection to RPV Water injection as needed via Water injection as needed via the RHR system the RHR system Water injection to CV Not needed now Not needed now Spent Fuel Pool Status Cooling restored Cooling restored3/22/2011 07:00 AM
  5. 5. Technical Briefing on the Radiological Situation in Japan 22 March 2011Division of Radiation Transport and Waste Safety Department of Nuclear Safety and Security IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
  6. 6. Gamma dose rates after 15 March 2011 at selectedmonitoring posts surrounding Daiichi NPP Natural background:  0.1 microSv per hour IAEA Information provided by MEXT‐Japan
  7. 7. Gamma Dose Rates North of Daiichi NPP Japan (microSv/h), 15-21 March Natural background:  0.1 microSv per hour1.2 1 3-Iwate(Morioka)0.8 6-Yamagata(Yamagata) Natural background: 0.6 0.1 microSv per hour0.40.2 0 17-18 IAEA 5-6 17-18 5-6 17-18 5-6 17-18 5-6 17-18 5-6 17-18 5-6 17-18
  8. 8. Gamma dose rates North of Daiichi NPP Japan (microSv/h), 15-21 March1.2 11-Saitama(Saitama) 1 12-Chiba(Ichihara)0.8 13-Tokyo(Shinjyuku)0.6 14-Kanagawa(Chigasaki)0.40.2 0 17-18 22-23 3-4 8-9 13-14 18-19 23-24 4-5 9-10 14-15 19-20 0-1 5-6 10-11 15-16 20-21 1-2 6-7 11-12 16-17 21-22 2-3 7-8 12-13 17-18 22-23 3-4 8-9 13-14 18-19 23-24 IAEA
  9. 9. Measurements by the IAEA monitoring team on 22 March 2011Location Distance to NPP Time, JST Dose rate Beta+gamma Contamination (km) micro Sv/h (counts per  second) Mega‐Becquerel  per m2Onami 62 10:35 9.1 5050 0.86Soma city 51 11:13 6.5 5275 0.90Kawachi, 1st place 47 11:52 0.77 895 0.15Kawachi, 2nd place 47 12:00 1.5 725 0.12Tsuruha, 1st place 35 12:14 1.6 970 0.16Tsuruha, 2nd place 35 12:20 1.6 744 0.13Tsuhura, 3rd place 34 12:30 1.1 478 0.08Fukushima 68 18:05 3.5 1323 0.22 IAEA No alpha – contamination was detected  5
  10. 10. Measurements of radioactivity in food Japanese authorities continue to determine levels of Cesium‐137 and Iodine‐131 in food  drinking water • Large variations of Iodine‐131 and Cs‐137 in food• Levels of Iodine‐131 in leafy vegetables, sampled near cities  South of Fukushima exceed in most cases the level of 2000  Becquerel per kilogramme which has been set by Japanese  authorities for restriction of food consumption. • Levels of Cesium‐137 in milk exceed in one of 37 samples the  level of 200 Becquerel per kilogramme which has been set by  Japanese authorities for restriction of milk consumption.  IAEA 6
  11. 11. Iodine-131 in milk Exceeding Japanese level  for Iodine‐131  of 300  Becquerel per Liter in milk  by 100% Exceeding Japanese level for  Iodine‐131  of 300 Becquerel  per Liter in milk by  more  Below the  Japanese level for Iodine‐131   than 2000% of 300 Becquerel per Liter in milk by  more  IAEA than 100% 7